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[liberationtech] Fwd: Firefox OS with built in support for OpenPGP encryption

John Sullivan johns at
Fri Sep 20 09:42:18 PDT 2013

Blibbet <blibbet at> writes:

>> I don't think so -- unless you have a laptop flashed with a free
>> software BIOS / boot firmware that you can inspect and modify. There are
>> a handful of dated possibilities out there like that (Thinkpad x60
>> models that support coreboot, Lemote Yeelongs), but not the vast
>> majority of laptops. The situation with laptops actually seems pretty
>> analogous to the worst category of smartphones (those where the baseband
>> firmware shares the main CPU and RAM).
> Unfortunately, Coreboot is still not mainstream, netiher is Lemote.

Right, and unfortunately what preloaded coreboot systems are available
also have binary-only blobs in the coreboot chain.

> Personally, I wish EFF/FSF and other open/free tech groups would form
> a Linaro-like firmware group and produce their own UEFI firmware
> image, as an option for OEMs.
> There needs to be some Free Boot alternative to Secure Boot, with
> certs from EFF/FSF/etc and the open source distro vendors, not just
> OEMs/MSFT in the firmware, and it needs to target booting from a
> handful of main open source distros, not just 1 commercial OS. Else,
> UEFI will turn Personal Computers into Windows PCs, ending the era of
> General Purpose computing.

(We call the bad version of Secure Boot, where the user does not have
the ability to modify the set of trusted keys or disable the system,
Restricted Boot.)

We have discussed the idea of trying to become a root key holder for
Secure Boot, working with OEMs to by default trust GNU/Linux distro keys
signed by us, but have been told that the cost of complying with the
requirements would be in the millions. We're still interested, if anyone
has funding.

In the meantime, we would love to receive any reports of x86 systems
purchased with Secure Boot that actually have Restricted Boot.


John Sullivan | Executive Director, Free Software Foundation
GPG Key: 61A0963B | |

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